Chapter 6 “Gun Free” equals “Target Rich”
“Lawbreakers, by their very definition, break the law—they’ve literally made it their job description. Only the most childish naiveté could lead an honest person to believe someone who would break the most stringent laws somehow wouldn’t break a much less important one with a far less serious penalty.” – Massad Ayoob
Before he killed 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, 20‐year‐old Adam Lanza committed about half a dozen felonies. Among other things, he stole his 52‐year‐old mother’s gun and shot her in the head four times. He then drove a stolen car to the school, marched right passed a “gun free zone” sign, shot his way through a glass panel next to the locked entrance doors, and proceeded to a first grade classroom where he opened fire on his helpless victims. Horrified administrators and students heard the initial shots over the school intercom system which was being used for morning announcements at the time. Approximately four and a half minutes after receiving a frantic 911 call, the Connecticut State Police arrived. Realizing that he nowfaced armed resistance, Lanza committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
A few months earlier, on July 20, 2012, James Holmes dressed in an outfit reminiscent of the DC Comics villain, The Joker, opened fire on innocent citizens who were watching the newly released Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, killing 12 and injuring 70. This atrocity took place at the Cinemark Century Theater in Aurora, Colorado. The killer passed up seven other theaters that were closer to his apartment, including ones that held larger audiences, to select the one venue that had posted signs prohibiting guns outside their entrance. Writing about the incident shortly afterward Professor John Lott related, “Why would a mass shooter pick a place that bans guns? The answer should be obvious, though it apparently isn’t clear to the media: disarming law‐abiding citizens leaves them sitting ducks.”
The first legislative response to keep the public safer from mass shootings and other horrific acts of violence is invariably a ban of some kind. Legislation prohibiting the sale and manufacture of certain types of weapons, magazines, and ammunition, or restricting where and how guns can be carried are quite common, oftentimes augmented by proposals for waiting periods, universal background‐check systems, and the like. While such actions might make the voters feel good, they are based on the flawed logic that if there’s only a rule, a sign, a piece of legislation, prospective bad guys will follow it. Reality check people: Rules and regulations absolutely can prevent some crime, threat of punishment is a significant motivator to certain individuals, yet simply writing things down does not necessarily affect everyone’s behavior. Bad guys don’t follow the law! In fact, when it comes to criminals, breaking the law is pretty much their job description. Some examples:…
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